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Hi all! I just finished my audio setup start to finish and want to share what I'd say is the best audio experience I've ever had from car speakers. The route I went was not cheap, but hopefully if you're interested you can find options that fit your budget.

Summary:

The stock SEL audio package includes the head unit, no amp, component (mid + tweeter) speakers up front and mids in the back. The mids fit a 6.5 - 6.75" speaker. Unfortunately there's not a lot of depth so thinner speakers are a must. Crutchfield does an okay job of explaining whether speakers will fit, and the exact measurements so you can compare.

From what I could tell, the stock speakers are basic $10 pieces of tinny junk. By default it favors high ends to the point of sibilants, and has a VERY harsh bass suppression (likely to avoid damaging the cheap speakers). With the stock setup the best sound I could get from it involved setting treble to -3, mid to +2, bass to +3, and setting the fade to favor the back by two clicks. Even then, the sound was incredibly hollow.

My shopping list:

  • Audiocontrol d-5.1300 5-channel DSP amplifier
  • Audio Frog G60S front component speakers
  • Audio Frog GS60 rear mids
  • JLAudio CS110TG-TW3 power wedge 10" sub
  • speed wire
  • 4AWG amp wiring kit
  • Metra 82-7300 speaker adapter rings
  • some dynamat for the front and rear doors
  • Audiocontrol AC-BT24 Bluetooth module for configuring the amp with my phone

The amp fit under the front seat very well. From the head unit, speed wire was run into the amp then back to the wiring harness in the dash, along with a cable to the trunk for the subwoofer. The door speakers were installed with the Audio Frog crossovers that came with the speakers. The USB connection (for configuring with a computer) was run from the amp to the side of the front seat, but once the Bluetooth module was attached I don't need that any more. The space in the car and the doors allowed for a very clean setup with the stock head unit, stock speaker grilles, and no visible wires. The amp is only slightly visible from the backseat. I used Velcro to situate the sub on the rear left of the trunk but can move it as needed.

Some basic setup notes:

The front speakers form I/O channels 1-2, the rears channels 3-4, and the sub is mono channel 5. ALL of the inputs needed to be ramped up a bit due to the low output from the head unit. That said, to my ear the rear speakers needed to be amped way more than the front else you'd lose a lot of the music fullness to the front door mounted tweeters. The sub barely put out a single note unless it was cranked up a lot, and I used the Audiocontrol accubass feature to negate the stock bass rolloff. Here's the inputs from the DSP setup app so you can see the input gain settings:


Tuning the Output:

From there I played with my output settings and EQ a ton (probably about 20 hours total) to get the absolute best sound for my listening style. It's worth noting everyone's ear is different, so don't take my settings for gospel.


For the front speakers, the goal was to get the entire signal but roll off some of the highs lest they be too overpowering. I did have to set the right front speaker to 180° as it was installed out of phase. Thankfully with a DSP amp it's an easy fix. The speakers can handle 50hz - 20khz managed with the physical crossovers. I set them to 80hz high pass to avoid overlap with the sub. The accubass level was raised to get more lows out of the mids given the inherent rolloff from the head unit. Finally, the equalizer was tuned to emphasize the lows and miss with a fairly strong lowering of the highs. I started by using pink noise and the Auto equalizer feature to get a good baseline then tweaked from there by ear.


For the rear speakers, we get 50hz - 7khz, and I set the crossover again to an 80hz high pass. These speakers get full level and higher accubass to fill out the sound and make it less centralized on the front doors. I get a good wide soundstage and feel like the sound is coming right from the center of the car which is how I like it. The equalizer focuses much more heavily on the mids, and I ramped down around 800hz where it got a bit overpowering.


Finally the sub. This one was easy: ramp up accubass till it thumps just right. The EQ stays flat, and the crossover is set to 25hz - 80hz with a smooth drop off on the low end. The result is a decent thump when it's part of the song, but otherwise a nice richness that rounds out the sound experience. It's worth noting I removed the trunk divider as it really seemed to reduce the full effect of the bass.

Final thoughts:

Ultimately I'm extremely happy with the setup. It was costly but I managed to get some good deals to make it worthwhile. The sound is incredible and blows away any Harmon Kardon or Infinity setup I've ever heard. More to the point, it's INSANELY configurable as you can see from the links. Having a DSP amp is really a dream come true and allows a ton of customizing, some of which I haven't even touched.

The only thing I plan to add is the Audiocontrol knob, which will let me specifically lower the bass gain if need be. I'm fine using the app to switch between profiles depending on music or listener, but want easy access to turn down the sub specifically when needed for a passenger or where I'm driving.

Lmk if you have any questions! I'm excited as all **** about it.
 
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